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Semana 70

By 7:26 PM

Olá todo mundoooo!

As much as I try and control myself, my anxiety for the next 6 weeks of my life and the new experiences for the future are almost killing me! With every passing week my heart tightens and I don´t know how to react. It seems so surreal to me that my mission is coming to an end. I´ve been able to reflect a lot these past few weeks on my time here and what I´ve accomplished, and what the Lord has done with my life. I´ve been able to set some goals for this next phase, and I´m excited for what is to come!

This was the last week of the transfer, and we had some great experiences. Marvelous lessons with investigators, daily spiritual growth, and the overwhelming sensation that the Lord is preparing great things for this area of the world! 

On saturday and sunday we had Stake Conference (Potengi stake) and Elder Pinho from the Quorum of the Seventy was the invited authority, along with President and Sister Soares. It was such a spiritually uplifting meeting. Elder Pinho talked about the difference between theory and practice. The gospel is made by the practice of what we believe, of the principles that Christ taught. He taught how we can share our knowledge with others, but not our preparation and personal experience. Like the 10 virgens, we can´t borrow our own personal preparation in applying the gospel and living the laws of God. That is something that only we ourselves can obtain - there don´t exist shortcuts! He said a lot of other things that made me think. Here I´ve spent almost a year and a half as a missionary, being obedient and diligent in all things, but have I really become converted to the point that when I come home these behaviors aren´t just habits but are a part of my nature? When I have to confront my life at home and the attacks of the adversary, will I be able to apply what I´ve learned on my mission? Will I be able to run from sin, to maintain my focus on the things that matter most, to remove distractions that´ll waste my time? Will I be able to reach my goals and continue to grow spiritually? These are all huge doubts that I have, and I only have 6 weeks left. I have the overwhelming sensation that I need to be perfect when I get home. To have learned everything there is to know about the gospel, to have perfected my own self mastery, to have perfected every flaw. But I am coming to realize that it isn´t quite like that. The mission has been a foundation that I have built to sustain the rest of my life - to give me strength in life´s storms, to bring me comfort and peace, to give me courage. To know Christ and my Heavenly Father a little better. 

As I´ve been on my mission and heard of news from home - accidents, people passing away, health and financial and spiritual challenges, loss, grief, heartache. I´ve become to see how the gospel gives strength through all these hard times, no matter what comes our way. I´ve recognized how my own conversion over the course of this year and a half has given me the preparation to face these trials in the future. I am so grateful that the Lord has strengthened me, in preparation for what is to come! That´s really all that the mission is. The mission is like the MTC for real life. 

Tomorrow is transfer calls, and I´ll enter my last transfer of my mission!

Amo vocês!
Sister Brown

PS - this transfer has been full of awesome p days. Today we went to Zona Sul again to visit the historic downtown center of Natal, in Cidade Alta. We visited a few museums, looked at the cool old buildings, learned about how Natal was founded and about the ancient indians that lived in this region (for Adam - the Potiguars. I´m sure you´ll love looking that up on Google). We talked to some hippies on the street (super normal), we entered the big Catholic church (and may or may not have contacted some people that were inside... that may or may not be against the white handbook but we couldn´t pass it up), we bought some super cool artisan jewelry, made new friends, explored, ate good food.  It was a great day!

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